Karen: Brazil -> USA


Country of origin: Brazil

Current Country: United States

Cool, random fact about you: I’ve been practicing boxing for about a year but never fought anybody. This Wednesday I will spar with a classmate and I am very excited about it. I’m not sure of what to expect, since the classes I take are always in this kind of controlled environment where we don’t interact much with other people, only with the punching bag in front of us and with the trainer when she walks by to correct your movements.

Bucket list item: road trip across the US.


How old were you when you left your home country? 24.

Why did you leave your home country? I’ve always wanted to move to the US since I was a kid and always wanted to learn English, I think that the language is beautiful. In Brazil we have this culture that the US is awesome and that is a great, beautiful, safe country that if you work hard you can have a pretty decent life and on the other hand, that Brazil is a beautiful country that if you work hard you will have to work hard for the rest of your life and things will most likely not change much. People in Brazil in general look up to the US and to other Brazilians that lived in the US and went back there. It’s easier to find a job if you worked in the US and went back, if you have good English, or if you went to school in the US. That was sort of my plan when I left. I graduated in Interior Design in Brazil and came here to try to get a Masters (I planned on studying English for about 6 months to a year before getting into that) and then I would go back after a few years (I had planned about 4 more years).

What made you choose the country you currently live in? Like I said, I grew up (like pretty much any other Brazilian) with this culture that the US is awesome. Since you are young you are in a way submerged into the US culture through movies, music, TV shows, food, and all of that, and I wanted to come and check this out. I wanted to see if it was as cool as it looked like from far away.

What do you not like about your current country? The idea that a person like Donald Trump could be elected the president of the US. The idea of so many Americans and other citizens considering putting a person like him on power is just disappointing and most of all scary, in the sense of how could somebody even agree with all of the nonsense things he is proposing to do if elected. I just can’t get it.

Are you going to stay in your current country? Why is that? Absolutely! (Unless Donald Trump gets elected) I have no business in Brazil, I have no desire at all to move back there and I really feel like I’m home here. My life is here 100%.

What has your move taught you? Ultimately about cultural differences. On how to respect and understand the way people act and see and do things based on their culture. I lived in 2 international cities, NY for a month, and after that I lived in SF for almost 2 years and I met people from all over the world. Besides that my wife is American, and although I had a great idea of what American culture is, I didn’t live it until then, so of course it’s not the same, and because of that, every once in a while we have some cultural differences that we just have to agree on or disagree.

What do you miss about your home country? My family, the food, crowded beaches with bars on the shore and vendors walking by you with all kinds of stuff while you just sit down and stare at the ocean and drink a really cold beer, oh, and cold beer, the beer there is always really cold! It needs to be, otherwise we don’t even drink it.

Where is home for you? Here in the US for sure. Even though I still call my parents’ house “my house” in regular daily conversations with my family talking as if I still lived there. I think that is because I just know that no matter what I could always go back and they would be waiting for me with open arms.

Would you move back? Under which circumstances? Do you want to move back? I really don’t think I would, at least not right now. Maybe in the future when me and my wife are old or if one of us got a really good job there. And no, I have no desire to move back at this moment.

If you could do your move again, what would you do differently? Honestly, I can’t think of anything. I really feel like things went down just the way it was supposed to. I moved to NY and met some really cool people and an amazing city – I still want to move back there some day. After that I moved to SF and meet my wife, we got married after 3 or 4 months and we’ve been married for over 2 years and a half now. I simply love my life and I am thankful for everything that happened and the way that happened.

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